Talking 'Bout My Generation
We are pedestrians in a world without sidewalks, striding across traffic against the light. We are overqualified, overeducated, overworked, overstimulated, underpaid, underemployed, undervalued and underwhelmed. Our cats have their shots, but we don't have health insurance. We are smart, and we are lost, and we are going to proceed wearily through life with a thick, hopeless, mournful longing and a bleary-eyed fatalistic love that we won't bother to try to explain. We have a martyr complex, yes indeed.
We're not holding out any hope, but we never learned to back down.
Parts of it remind me of a conversation I've had a couple of times with a mate, Jim, who's in his 50s. Jim's the kind of guy who has two freezers always stocked, who goes to Macro and buys multipacks of everything. Me, I have less food reserves than a foraging nomad. Why? Jim grew up fearing that Nuclear War could happen any day. He's of the "duck and cover" generation. He's of the generation that prepared for it. I'm of the generation that grow up knowing Nuclear War would happen any day. I'm of the "fuck, whatever" generation. As Bear puts it:
Nuclear war was too big to worry about, so we accepted it. In the event of a nuclear holocaust, you had bomb shelters and "duck and cover." We had plans to drive to the Pratt & Whitney or Sikorsky plant and sit on the hoods of the cars with the radio turned up, drinking from a bottle of whisky and holding a sun reflector. Nero had a point: when the end is inevitable, do it in style... We had accepted our deaths. Now we are standing in the sunlight blinking, and wondering what to do with our suddenly long and frightening lives. Understand: we never expected to live this long.
Anyhoo... go read the essay. It's fucking great.